Haitian Women Crossing The Border To Give Birth Overwhelm Dominican Health Care System

“Dominican hospitals and clinics are being overwhelmed by Haitian women … who make up roughly half of the patients giving birth in Dominican hospitals, officials here say,” the Washington Post reports. “They come because they don’t have access to health care in Haiti, especially since last year’s earthquake. They come because they can get free health care in the Dominican Republic each year, and so that they can have their babies in hospitals instead of on the floors of their homes,” the newspaper writes.

“In Haiti, 27 of every 1,000 newborns in 2009 died, according to the latest numbers from UNICEF, nearly seven times the U.S. rate,” and, before the January 2010 earthquake, “[t]he lifetime odds of a woman dying while giving birth in Haiti [were] one in 93,” according to the Washington Post (Gilger, 8/23).